A Chicago mother has been charged with assault following an investigation that began when cops say her 7-year-old son was found running down a city street in a diaper.
Police believe Caroline Woods, 24, abused her son for years, over the course of which she forced him to sleep and use the bathroom in a closet while allegedly subjecting him to beatings.
After he was found in the soiled diaper on the city's Lake Shore Drive on Sunday morning, prosecutors said the boy told authorities he'd endured at various times being struck in the head with an extension cord and baseball bat.
In addition, Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said Woods forced the boy to sit on the stove at his family's high-rise condominium as his genitals were burned with a curling iron.
Prosecutors said the boy told police he wasn't fed every day, and when he did eat, it was only protein shakes and cans of okra, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Woods, 24, was denied bail at a hearing Tuesday.
"These are depraved acts," Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. reportedly told the mother. "You are a danger to society."
The boy and his 2-year-old sister were reportedly taken into custody by state officials. There had reportedly been no previous contact between the family and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.